Monday 1 July 2024

Throwaway Culture

 There seems to be a complete lack of tuning parts available for my kettle. I bought it in Woolworths in 1998 when I moved into my first house, so it's almost brand new. There's a power switch on the kettle itself with an over-centre latch. The kettle gets power from a circular base and when you lift the kettle off the base a little spring flips the power switch to off. The little spring broke, so the kettle was slightly too dangerous for me. I uprated the spring from 22SWG to 20SWG. Sadly the slightly different shape and size of the spring meant that I required a set of shims for the plunger that actuates it. Neither uprated springs nor matching shims seem to be available for my kettle (or any other kettle) and I had to manufacture both. I had a surprising amount of piano wire and small brass bar in stock, but I don't have anything (other than a cold chisel) to cut piano wire and I don't have a watchmaker's lathe to part off the shims.

Richard "Beyond Repair - no. Beyond Economical Repair - yes" B

The Good Life

 Outdated reference to an outdated reference: In the late 90s one of my best friends moved from Plymouth to Surrey. There he met a girl, and the first time I met her and her friends I made a very poor impression on them. We were at a party, one of these women had a ludicrously posh (to my westcountry ear) accent and a slightly imperious manner. I heard her say to her (then) boyfriend "Jason, fetch me another beer". I couldn't help but say "Chequebook Jerry" in my best Margo Leadbetter voice and the two people near me erupted in gales of laughter. Nobody else had heard what I said, but they heard the laughing, and then my friends proceeded to repeat and explain it.

The posh girl and her boyfriend are now married. I went out with one of the offended women for a number of years. My friend married somebody different.

Richard "Penelope Keith" B